All member reviews for My Brother Sam Is Dead

Kids say

(out of 184 reviews)
age 12+
 
Review this title!
Teen, 16 years old Written byguitarteen92 August 14, 2009
age 10+
 

A must read for anyone with even the slightest interest in history

I read the book when I was nine years old, and have read it several times since. Though an American by birth, my mother is British, and I was raised to see both sides of the American Revolution, not the whitewashed version presented by most modern history textbooks and films. My Brother Sam is Dead presents a side of the American Revolution not often seen today. The Meeker Family, though Loyalists, are shown as real people having real concerns. Especially poignant is the tension between the eldest brother Sam Meeker, the rebel, and his father. Throughout the book, Tim Meeker, the protaganist, is exposed to the best and worst of both sides of the war. Any kid with even a slight interest in history should read this book. There are a couple of "naughty words" mostly just the word "hell" and the D-word, but that might concern most parents. Also a concern to parents might be the fact that there is no happy ending.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written bytak December 4, 2012
age 11+
 

Ineresting book

I think My Brother Sam is Dead was a really good book. It has a lot of violence, some swearing and drinking alcohol. The violence is very detailed but it makes the book more entertaining to read or listen to. It also makes it easy to visualize whats actually happening. We read this book in class and it was interesting and at some parts fun. The parts that were fun were when we got to act out the scenes as a class. Acting out the scenes gave us a better understanding on what was going on and the situation that the Meeker family was in. I think the book was mostly good because of the ending. The ending was good but very violent and surprising, It being surprising made it a better book though. In class the teacher asked us to rewrite the ending and i don't think anyone could rewrite the ending better then the writer. Some of my classmates said the ending was bad because Sam didn't die until the very last words so it was misleading but i thought that just made it better because you don't expect it and it was so detailed.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written bywolves4love November 29, 2009
age 13+
 

i love it

I love love love this book. i read it over and over. you have to understand that this book takes place way back. so it does have some things i disagree on, but i cant change how the past was. i love how the writers made it as close to history as possible
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written byzschingeck December 4, 2012
age 13+
 

A great read for anyone interested in history.

I think that “My Brother Sam is Dead is a worthy buy. It is an entertaining and suspenseful read and a great representation of what life may have been like during the Revolutionary War. The story is revolved around a twelve year old boy named Tim Meeker, whose father, Life Meeker, owns a tavern as a business. The Meeker family is a tory family(they support the British), but are not willing to fight in the war. Tim`s older brother, Sam Meeker, on the other hand, wants to go join the patriots and fight against the British for independence and freedom. Tim is unsure whether he should support his Father(tory) or support his brother Sam(patriot). While it is a great book, the book has some controversial content. The language, while strong, is few and far between. I don`t think the language is a big issue because most kids will learn what words they should and should not use at about 10 or 11. The main problem with me is the tone. Since that the book takes place during the Revolutionary War, this book can get depressing and even violent at times. Several people in the book die and you can tell how the characters are feeling. Keep this in mind if you are a teacher or parent wanting to get this book. All in all, “My Brother Sam is Dead” is a great read for people interested in the Revolutionary War, or if you just want to read a compelling story. I feel that the writers tried to make the story subtle, and it worked in the end. To me, the best part of the book is how suspenseful it is. You just want to know what will happen to Tim, Life, Sam, and in general, everybody that is supporting, or fighting in, the Revolutionary War. A dark but entertaining book, just keep in mind the book gets really dark at times.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byTheComicBookGirl December 4, 2012
age 12+
 

War Is not a Game

I honestly thought that I was not going to like the book ‘My Brother Sam Is Dead’ but, when my eighth grade class room actually finished reading it, I had been so pulled into the book that I felt like crying. This book is based in the revolutionary war era (eighteenth century). The main character is (as the title says) the brother of Sam Meeker, Tim Meeker. Their parents own a tavern in a small town. The story begins with Sam coming home from Yale (the college he attends). Sam announces to his family that he would like to fight in the continental army. His father (Life Meeker) disapproves because, they are supposed to be a family loyal to the British. Sam leaves anyway after he steals his fathers gun. Tim is distraught but, soon gets over it. Later in the book Life Meeker, Father, is kidnapped and sent to a british prison ship. There is a fight in the town after this book with some graphic violence (decapitation of a slave), and language. This book does not swear that often, it being minor ones. The positive message of this story may not exactly be positive but it is an important message. The message is ‘War Is Not A Game’ as discovered by Tim. There is no “naughty” situations in this book, but there is minor drinking. Good book and I strongly recommend it to everyone including non-history lovers.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byoker28 December 4, 2012
age 11+
 

A Great Book For Learning

In the book, “My Brother Sam Is Dead” there is a lot of educational value. The whole storyline is overall fairly interesting. In the book, there are bountiful amounts of education about the American Revolution. I think that reading this book, to me, was much more beneficial than sitting and reading from a textbook. This was because everything was in context, and I felt like I was actually the shadow of Tim Meeker, watching the formation of what would become my country. Although this cannot be looked at as an alternative to learning about the American Revolution even if it happens to be reading out of a textbook, I do think that it is a great supplement to enhance understanding of what people had to go through to form the U.S.A. The Meeker family claims to be a neutral family (not for or against either side), but it definitely shines through in the story that they are mostly loyalist, with the exception of Sam. The Meeker’s own and live in a tavern in Redding, Connecticut. Their family consists of Mother, Life ( The Father), Sam ( The oldest child), and Tim ( The youngest child). When Sam decides to leave his loyalist family and join the Patriot Militia, Life Meeker disowns his son, and does not want anything to do with him. Things just roll straight downhill after this falling point. On a journey home from Verplancks Point with his son Sam, Life gets captured by the British and put on a prison ship where he dies of cholera. Now all that is left is Mother, Tim and the Tavern. They become very frugal and try to stretch every dollar. As times get tough for people all over the Colonies and goods run short, Mother and Tim Meeker struggle to keep their tavern in business. When Sam arrives home on a surprise, illegal visit, he is framed for stealing cattle. He is further arrested and executed. The overall storyline of this book seems to rise and fall. There are many points where it seems like you cannot put the book down! However, the falling points really seem to be boring, and you just want to give up on the book. I think though that if you are even the slightest bit interested in this book, you should read it! It is very educational and you will most definitely be glad that you have read it once you finish those last few words.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byheyheygirl101 December 15, 2011
age 14+
 

my brother sam is dead

i think this book is really good and yes it has a lot of violent stuff but if you look past that it is really good and i love like a lot
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bySamamuel December 15, 2011
age 9+
 

My Brother Sam is not the Best

My Brother Sam is Dead was not the best book I have ever read, in my school we read it in 8th grade, which is definitely not the grade I would have assigned it too. There are plenty of educational and positive segments, but after all I've heard about I was quite disappointed. The authors were, in my opinion, poor writers. I stayed continually bored throughout the entire story, even the exciting bits did not peak my interest as much as I was hoping. I would not recommend this to anyone hoping for a great book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byyordai16 December 14, 2011
age 12+
 

Fifty Fifty

This book was a fifty fifty to me the good fifty was that it gives a good amount of insight into the past.It's good to read to have a appreciation for the common life as how it is now.It's a book that if you like to read you could get really into.The characters are very real and,one of the reasons they are very real is because they make mistakes. The bad fifty percent is that it's kind of depressing plus the book title gives away a big part of the story.The characters are a little rugid around the edges.There is a lot of culture shock when you read this book they young kids are able to drink.The ending is a big upset also.If I were to grade this it would earn a c+
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byupptim16 December 14, 2011
age 18+
 

MBSID review

This book does have some language that might not be good for some people to read. Other than that this book is educational and entertaining and interesting. It talks about loyalist and patriots. This book does not have a happy ending. When father dies Tim takes over his place. There is a lot of drinking in this book, That is because there is not clean water.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byALana.Renee October 12, 2009
age 12+
 

Love it/Hat it

It was slightly depressing honestly but very informing for history lovers
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Kid, 12 years old May 9, 2009
age 11+
 

One of the best books ever!

I would say this is one of the best books I've ever read. I would reccomend this book. It was completely sad, it talks about the Meeker family falling apart. First,Tim's father gets thrown in jail for being a loyalist and not a patriot and get's thrown on a BRITISH prison ship and DIES from cholera. Then, Tim's mom starts to drink rum. Then,Tim's best friend Jerry Sanford gets killed by the British.Lastly, Sam get's framed for stealing cattle and gets executed. Sam's shirt catches on fire wile the execution. See, the Meekers fall apart. But not all is bad Tim survives the war and moves to Pennsylvania
Teen, 13 years old Written byamandafouty12 February 21, 2009
age 11+
 

This book is awesome!!!

The book is about the meeker family, who run the meeker tavern in redding, connecticut. Tim, Sam, Father, and Mother are in a time around the Revolutionary War. Sam, the oldest child, is a patriot in the war and Father doesn't like that. He doesn't even want Sam fighting in the war because of the danger. Sam fights anyway. Fast foward about five years and Sam gets executed because he was found guilty for stealing cattle, even though he didn't do it. Two cattle theives did it, but they blamed it on Sam. Sam is executed by getting shot.
Kid, 11 years old July 4, 2015
age 11+
 

Terrible and too much gore!

This is a bad book. His brother gets executed for no reason. This is terrible. I was BEHIND in reading because it was slow and boring, the last sentence in the book was after his brother got shot SEVERAL time "He stopped jerking". Terrible and don't even bother.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old March 30, 2013
age 11+
 

A bit much

VERY VIOLENT!!! I am still reading it and I am fine with it, I read a lot of books with this stuff, but I think a lot of kids still my age can't handle this. There is drinking and some bad words. best for 5 grade and up, but maybe younger of older depending on maturity. I do like it and it has some education values.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bytrajac17 December 6, 2012
age 10+
 

Not so happy ending.

The book, My Brother Sam is Dead is a very good book. It has a educational value. You can learn about the war and the life back then. It is in the view of a boy around the age of ten or eleven named Tim Meeker. You get to see the view of the Revolutionary War in the perspective of a child. It is interesting to see the way he feels and thinks. It is about the Meeker family and there life during the war. The Meeker family is Loyalists. On the other hand, Tim’s brother Sam is a patriot. Sam is the age of between seventeen and early twenties. Throughout the book it describes what it was like to live in that time period. After reading My Brother Sam is Dead you actually feel like you witnessed the Revolutionary War. I recommend this book to people that enjoy historical fiction books. Even if you are not interested in the Revolutionary War, you can still enjoy this book. It doesn’t give the fake or phony stories of the war, it is like you took it out of a history book. The book contains violence and some language. The violence is graphic, but isn’t unbearable. The language is nothing to worry about. It uses hell and the d-word, you have to understand that it wasn’t considered bad then, it was just the way they talked. The book does not have a very happy ending. I’m not going to spoil it for you, you’ll just have to read it yourself.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bySalmasri December 5, 2012
age 12+
 

My Option Of My Brother Sam Is Dead

What do I think of this book? I think this book was very good. It gave a great discretion of the Revolutionary War. When I read this book I learned more about the war. I learned about how other people lived while the war was going on. And what they thought of it, and how it changed their lives. Some parts of the book could be boring it just gave detail about their lives which some of it you could have gone with out it. But that was the live of them. The book does swear quite a lot. But it is not the swearing that is horrible it is bad, but not as bad as the other swearing. If you are the age 12 and up I think you are responsible enough to push past it. It does have violence in it. I am going to say I could have gone without a lot of it, but that is why it is a good book. Because it gives great detail. And without the detail the book would not be half as good as it is now. When you get towards the end I know what you are going to think. I am going to tell you that the ending is not what you expect. And it is not a happy ending, but overall I think the book was very good!
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bycierrac December 4, 2012
age 11+
 

Job well done

This book is really good. I would definitely recommend 'My Brother Sam Is Dead', but only to people who like reading about war and sad stories. The title is a good name for the book. There are many twists in the end having to do with Timmy’s brother and his dad. There is drinking involved but I don’t think it’s that bad because it is only because Sam and Timmy’s dad work at a place with drinking involved. obviously there is violence in the end and Sam going to war, But it also educational since it is about the revolutionary war. The part I liked most maybe is where Timmy tries to get Sam’s gun to shoot the people trying to hurt there dad. Out of every thing I think this book was a job well done.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byHannah Banana17 December 4, 2012
age 13+
 

The GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY of My Brother Sam is Dead!

There is no doubt in my mind that this book was written very well. James Lincoln Collier wrote this book and knew just the way to do it! We have just finished reading this in our 8th grade English class. I would recommend this book to be read after learning about the Revolutionary War. This will make things much easier to understand. MBSID contains a lot of facts about the Revolutionary War. The Meeker Family lives in Redding, Connecticut. They own the Meeker Tavern. If you see “Life Meeker” in the book, that’s father. There are 2 sons; Tim and Sam. Tim is 10 years old at the beginning of the book and Sam is 16. At this age Sam has chosen to be a patriot and to be in the militia. Father is very upset with this decision because he is a Loyalist. One night, Father and Sam get in a huge fight and Father kicks Sam out of the house. This has lead a totally different path for the next few years. Tim will now have much more to do around the house and the Tavern. Usually in the colder winter months, Father and Sam would usually take a trip to get supplies they need for the tavern and around the house. But, this year, Sam isn’t around so Father takes Tim. On the way back home Father rides a few miles ahead of Tim to look out for any cowboys. Father does not return to Tim and Tim started to worry. Later finding out when Sam comes home from war Father had been taken by his own people(Loyalists) and had been put on a British Prison Ship to die. Mother wants Sam to stay at the house for longer but Sam later gets accused of stealing his own family’s cattle. He didn’t though! Colonel Read has decided Sam will be shot to die for this action. I think this is a very good book but Parents need to be cautious of how mature their children are. There are some parts where there is violence like when Ned’s head is chopped off. In the tavern there is some mentioning of alcohol. 16 and 17 year olds aren't allowed to drink alcohol legally now but during this time it was just normal. There are also good parts filled with action. Also, Father uses some swear words when he speaks so be aware of those. But at the time period that's just the way they talked all the time. Keep these things in mind while choosing the age your child is to read this. I would definitely recommend people to read this book!
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bylovegrace135 December 4, 2012
age 13+
 

history lovers read this book

Personally i HATE reading and i mean HATE, but after reading my brother sam is dead i find reading to be more interesting because when you read this book you can really picture whats happening in your mind and know i can picture it in my mind when i can read my brother sam is dead it made me realize i can picture whats happening in my head with other books to. my brother sam is dead does not really have a happy ending, i don't want to spoil it for ant one who did not read it but ill tell you its not a happy ending. Another thing you should know about my brother sam is dead is that it has a little bit of language like dam or hell but its not inappropriate. In the book it also has violence like heads getting chopped of and shirts catching on fire but other than the language and the violence its a great book. I would recommend this book for any one who is at least 13 or older, any younger might be to much for them but if you want to read it at a younger age go ahead but I strongly suggest 13 or older.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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